Statistically, about half of all marriages end in divorce. That being said,
there are millions of children of divorce. Beyond those children, there
are many more whose parents were never married, but that does not stop
the parents from filing paternity actions and fighting over child custody.
Are you a parent who is in the midst of a child custody battle? If you
had a recent arrest for driving under the influence, then you are likely
concerned about how that
DUI might impact your child custody case – a valid concern indeed.
A DUI is not good for your bank account, it’s not good for your auto
insurance, it’s bad for your career, and it’s especially bad
if you’re in the middle of a child custody battle.
Will a recent DUI ruin your chances of obtaining joint or sole physical
custody of your child? It depends. It
may not be a deal breaker.
If you’re on bad terms with your ex-spouse or partner, you can expect
them to use your DUI against you in family court. However, the older the
DUI, the less of an impact it will have on your case.
If this is your first DUI, your child was NOT in the vehicle at the time
of your arrest, nobody else was injured or killed, and you attend AA classes
and DUI School, there’s less of a chance of the judge holding the
DUI against you. Essentially, if it was an “isolated” incident.
Do you have a history of DUI convictions?
On the other hand, if this is your second, third, or subsequent DUI in
the last 10 years, or if your child was in the vehicle and you are being
child endangerment, or someone else was hurt, then it is likely that DUI will sway the judge’s
decision about child custody.
If you’re merely seeking legal custody, which refers to “decision
making” responsibilities, such as those regarding your child’s
education, religious upbringing, medical treatment, and extracurricular
activities, the DUI should not have any bearing on your case.
If parenting time or physical custody is what you are seeking, your ex
will probably use the DUI as fuel against you. He or she might say that
you have a drug or alcohol problem, or that you put socializing with your
friends above your child-raising responsibilities.
Also, your ex will probably raise concerns over you drinking and driving
with the children in the car.
If you are facing charges for a recent
DUI arrest, it would serve you well to enroll in alcohol counseling, such as Alcoholics
Anonymous, even if you don’t have a drinking problem.
The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. recognizes how DUI can impact
child custody cases. If you are a parent who is facing DUI charges, don’t
contact our office for a
free case evaluation.